The Optometric Minute

Changes & Challenges with Health Care Reform

Sept. 2, 2015

Wiley Curtis, OD, of Vision Source Arlington, in Arlington, Texas, says independent practices have many challenges to meet in this era of health care reform: motivating staff to accept changes to office processes, optimizing electronic health records, protecting patient HIPAA privacy rights and educating Accountable Care Organizations about the value of optometry. He says a partner like Vision Source can help independent ODs adjust to these challenges.

This is Part 3 of a Vision Source video series on health care reform.

DOWNLOAD THE VISION SOURCE REPORT: Navigation Guide to Health Care Reform for Independent Optometrists
 

Focus on the Patient
Optimize EHR to Be a Better Doctor
Show Patient Satisfaction with a Net Promoter Score
 

 

 

The medical eyecare focus of today’s optometry is a relatively recent development, not envisioned by most just a few decades ago, according to Dr. Curtis.

The dynamics of health care reform require changing the way we provide medical eyecare, including the full use of electronic health records and ensuring patients’ HIPAA privacy rights, he says.

Practice leaders can’t make needed changes themselves. Staff must be shown the importance of inputting all needed data in the EHR, and why they need to gather that data from patients in the first place.

At the same time, practice leaders must keep themselves, as well as their staffs, focused on what really matters: providing the best possible care to patients.

EHR helps ODs be better doctors, says Dr. Curtis.

It does this by allowing for a consistency of processes in how information is taken from patients, and how it is presented, and how easily it is accessed.

A key challenge is helping staff understand that EHR means more than just checking a series of boxes. The practice leader should emphasize that EHR is about gathering as much information as possible, so patients are better served.

Ensure that adequate information is gathered by having staff remind all patients calling for appointments to fill out patient intake and history forms online. Doing so drives information gathering, and it also helps move patients faster from the front to the back of the office.

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are looking for a concrete measure to show them that your patients are satisfied with their care, Dr. Curtis explains.

One tool to provide a solid measurement of patient satisfaction is the  Net Promoter Score. This score can be derived by using a patient communication system like Demandforce to send patients satisfaction surveys after their visits.

Dr. Curtis credits Vision Source with helping him understand the Net Promoter Score and how to create surveys to send to patients.

A high Net Promoter Score shows ACOs that you have proof of the level of care you deliver to patients.

Related Videos in Vision Source Series on Health Care Reform

Fixing a Broken Health Care System with Jim Greenwood, President & CEO, Vision Source

Health Care Reform: How to Embrace Change & Find Opportunities with Amir Khoshnevis, OD

Wiley Curtis, OD, is co-owner of Vision Source Arlington, in Arlington, Texas. To contact him: drcurtis@visionsource-arlington.com

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